Meridian 506.20

I never knew what to think about the Meridian players untill I examined one closely under the bonnet.
Open kimono time!

Is it built like a tank? No
Is is a bolid ? No
Does it have a granite floor, and 40 kilograms of electronics? No.

But this is one of the best built machines period.
If I was an engineer given a task to build a decent player, that's how I wish I could design it.

ALL MONEY is spent where it matters. Good mechanism (althought it IS NOT a CDM1, 2 or even 4 - it is the 12, SORRY)
Decent simple box
SUPER COOL display, which has just enough information and not more
Excellent PCB, with top class regulation, filtering etc.
Good digital filter
excellent DAC chip - all trully balanced (voltage output) 20 bit IC, which surprised me with its sound.
Lampization is easy, the signal points are very easy to reach, no need for I/U conversion.

Since there was no room inside for the lampizator, in fact NO ROOM for anything at all for that matter, I opted for the external lampizator in a wooden box. The beautiful box (matching the rest of the living room furniture) was made to measure exactly the same as the Meridian and thus forming a perfect base platform.

Heaters (green wires) and high voltage supplies installed (red wires).

Downsides: no room for lampizator, steep purchase price tag, and LOUD POP sound when skipping the track (after lampization the muting circuit is disabled).

If you can a) deal with the muting of the DAC during skip, or b) live with the noise, you will be rewarded with fantastic sound.
It is probably the best so far - or at least equal to Shanling 200, Kenwood 7090 and Grundig 9009. In fact, I think that overall it is the best. Shame for the cracking pop sound problem during track skipping.
I will try to add a relay or something.

Before the lampization the sound was OKAY, but nothing to write home about. Even despite the fact that they use just one op-amp at the output.
After lampization (straight from the positive phase legsL+ and R+ ) the sound opens incredibly. Soundstage explodes, literally. Voices are natural, and above all - the amount of details and small clues is unheard of. The details are not tiring, they are very very natural and pleasant.
This is the player that will make you stay up all night and re-discover all your collection.